The Dryden Observer

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Arena project dreams big, eyes Build Canada funding

By Michael Christianson

The dream of an improved arena will be a reality if Janice Radburn and Marnie Oliphant have anything to say about it.

Under the guidance of the Dryden Recreation Action Committee the pair will co-chair the Dryden Recreation Extension and Modification (DREAM) project.

Council was asked on Monday to support the project which is a necessary step for the applications for funding such as the Building Canada Fund.

“We have to look at the condition of the arena and keep it up to standards with other communities and right now we are lacking in facilities and we want to provide the community with a first class recreation centre,” said Radburn. “To start off with the immediate need is three additional dressing rooms and a washroom that is accessible to the handicapped.”

The current building is over fifty years old and needs improvements; whether it would be more inexpensive to bring the building up to code or to construct a new facility remains to be seen.

The pair knows that work on the arena could be a large task and they wanted to get the ball rolling on funding now, addressing the change room problem before looking to larger improvements.

“Our first immediate thing that we need to address is the girl’s hockey and the women’s hockey has grown over the years and when the building was first built it wasn’t to accommodate girls at all,” said Oliphant. “Now we have all these girls and we don’t have adequate dressing rooms for them; they’re sharing dressing rooms with the boys and it’s just not a good situation.”

The DREAM project plans to set up a donation thermometer outside the arena to track progress. Visit the Dryden Recreation Extension And Modification (DREAM) Project facebook page for more information about donating and volunteering.

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